2017 Hurricane Response

Communication Planning Tips

Note: This page was accidentally posted in the wrong place. This is really intended to help people who need to create communications materials for older adults, but who don't necessarily have a lot of experience doing so.

On a daily basis, the Aging and Disability Networks address issues of how best to communicate with individuals. Health literacy, cultural competency, and meeting the needs of persons with limited English proficiency must be considered to ensure effective communications.

To help you better meet these everyday challenges, this page offers information on the following topics:

  • General communication principles
  • Health literacy
  • Plain language
  • Website design and new media

General Communication Principles

The principles for communicating with the public apply to all ages. Some of the federal resources available include:

Health Literacy

Health literacy means being able to find, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions. Health literacy is important because low health literacy is linked to poor health outcomes.

Plain Language

Plain language is communication that an audience can understand the first time they read or hear it. Language that is plain to one set of readers may not be plain to others. Written material is in plain language if your audience can:

  • Find what they need;
  • Understand what they find; and
  • Use what they find to meet their needs

PlainLanguage.gov (Website) - Plain Language Action and Information Network

Federal Plain Language Guidelines (Webpage) - PlainLanguage.gov

Plain Language Tips and Tools (Webpage) - PlainLanguage.gov

Website Design and New Media


Last modified on 09/05/2017


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